One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A doctor specializing in the treatment of venereal disease. "got up like a pox doctor's clerk" and variants: dressed smartly but in bad taste; overdressed. Also figurative rare before 20th cent.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in William Petyt (?1641–1707), lawyer and political propagandist. From pox + doctor.
pox doctor/ˈpɒks ˌdɒktə/
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